Seacom problems

Or the alternate title of “Why your inability to access international content is your ISP’s fault, and not Seacom’s”
Or “Why your cheap-as-chips residential ADSL Broadband account is broken, and why I don’t care”

I could go on with all the complaints that I’ve heard over the last 24 hours, and all the stupid reasoning behind those complaints. But I won’t. I’ll try and be helpfully informative.

So we’ll start with the facts:

  • Seacom is one of the Submarine fiber cables that connect South Africa to Europe.
  • There are other ways out of South Africa to Europe, that do not rely on Seacom.
  • Residential ADSL users are quite far down the list of priorities for most ISP’s.
  • Business users on leased lines account for significantly more income than ADSL users.
  • You get what you pay for.

Your choice of ISP should take all of these facts into account:

  • Does your ISP have multiple international circuits?
  • Are these circuits physically diverse (ie: not the same cable).
  • Are you actually paying for a service that will make use of the backup circuits in the event of a failure?

Chances are, unless you have a leased line service, and you pay something in the region of R20000 a month for it, you will be affected by the Seacom problems.

It would be incredibly naive of any ISP to expect that a single upstream provider will be up 100% of the time. Seacom do not promise a 100% uptime, so how can you expect that level of service if you rely solely on them?

The solution for the ISPs? Use one of those other forms of international connectivity. Such as the SAT3-SAFE cable. Sure, thats expensive, so only use that for your “premium” customers. Like those guys paying R20000+ a month for their leased lines. They’ll get what they pay for.

And that there, is the difference between the R900 you pay a month for 4mbit ADSL, and R20000 per month for 4mbit leased line.

You get what you pay for.

South Africa goes to Vote

Its voting day in South Africa, so hopefully all of the 23m registered voters will be out enjoying the public holiday in the open air.

And then they’ll all be heading to Wimpy for their free coffee

And those of you with a sense of humour, will read Hayibo’s Election News, and giggle to yourselves at the new Nandos advert. (Those without a sense of humour will be offended, and try to sue Nandos. Or take Militant action, whatever floats your gravy boat)

Truth hurts

The ex-Minister of Telecommunications in South Africa died last week.

Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, better known as Poison Ivy, was the topic of a few of my rants in the past.

She was really good at stuffing things up, and then starting legal procedures against anyone who tried to fix it. I think she’s the first true example of the “If it aint fixed, don’t fix it, sleep instead” mindset.

Government released their own tribute to her, which ignores all her failings.

So it was left to some more objective people to come up with a fitting tribute.

Well Hello, and a happy new year to you too!

Back. Still alive, barely.

Its been a crazy few months…
To sum it all up, we got married! Yeah, that sounds dramatic, but it did take 4 months. And then I was forced to spend a week on the beach in Mauritius. I can think of worse punishments 🙂

Anyways, thats the state of things, and I’m sure there’s more to come.
We’re looking for a new place to move into. This apartment is starting to feel a little small, so we spent the last few days searching for houses.
(And then we’ll finally ship over all the stuff that we left in South Africa)

Stay tuned! Who knows… I might even post an update this year! 😛

Christmas in the Sun – part 1

As promised… Tales from the Holiday

We flew with Air France this time around. Dublin to Johannesburg, via Paris.
None of this 2-stop nonsense (Last time, we did Johannesburg to Windhoek to London to Dublin).

The Flights were great, the service was good, and the onboard movies were good.
I don’t think they make those seats for people with shoulders though.

Arrival in Johannesburg was good, smoothest landing yet. I didn’t even realise we’d landed until Jeanine nudged me.
Too bad our luggage didn’t get to experience it too. It was still in France. Apparently they need at least 1h30 to transfer the luggage between planes, and our stopover was only 1h15, so it missed the flight. Continue reading Christmas in the Sun – part 1